When I was creating a good title for this post I asked google to help me. I typed in ‘How does weight affect fuel consumption?’ I laughed out loud with what the search offered me. It brought me a whole lot of information about cars! Just for a giggle I read the first few lines, and then I discovered there was some parallel to the car content and to weight loss.
This is what it said… ‘A vehicle's weight is an important factor in how much fuel it will consume. The heavier the vehicle, the more energy it needs to get moving. ... This means that reducing weight is a very effective way to lower a vehicle's fuel consumption.’
It seems a little impersonal to relate the car to the human body, but it has some similarities. Cars that weigh less need less fuel. Bodies that weigh less need less food. As you begin to lose weight your bodies energy needs change. To continue with sustainable weight loss you will need to make changes to your eating habits and your mindset.
But this may lead to some discomfort. It may lead to you having to make some changes, like how much food your serve on your plate. Your brain doesn’t like change, so this may lead to some stress when you, and your lighter body weight, want something different. Nothing has gone wrong here. Keep taking action and your brain will eventually stop resisting, as your new mindset becomes the new norm.
A few blog posts ago I spoke to you about the misnomer of weight loss,and how some people who go to the gym believe the misnomer they should be eating more. I used the analogy of a large Land Rover needing more fuel to move than a Mini. When you start to lose weight your body simply does not require as much fuel.
Something I do with clients when they are losing weight is to get them to become really conscious, to back themselves, and trust their own wisdom to what works well in their body. Eating more than your body requires for fuel does not give us more energy, it can make us feel heavy and lethargic. Listening to your hunger levels and making sure they are coming from your stomach and not your eyes is an important part of the process.
My husband, Mark, has lost a significant amount of weight from the first lock down till now - 10 months. And one of the reasons for this was him becoming aware of how much energy his body needed to fuel his daily routine. As he lost weight his body required less fuel. He ate when he was hungry, and not just to get a hit of sugar or energy between work calls. He dropped a snack, simply because he was not hungry. He really paid attention to what his body needed and wanted.
What also changed is the type of food that he was eating. Initially, this was possibly because he was subconsciously noticing foods that I was choosing to eat. But his desire to make changes was also fuelled for his want to be as healthy as he could during this period. Not only in the eye of Covid, but to maintain a good mental health which can be achieved when you feel like you are taking care of yourself.
Instead of grabbing a couple of biscuits or a slice of bread and butter, I could see he was really looking after himself and fuelling his body in a way that felt good. When he did turn toward a snack, he started grabbing a handful of nuts, banana, apple or mandarin.
The interesting thing is that Mark had always thought that getting out on the bike was the thing that would keep him in good shape. He has evidence in his past that proves that true. However, now he has gained evidence that food, commitment to take care of yourself, becoming aware of your hunger, and what feels good in your body is a significant factor in determining your weight and weight loss.
So, I offer you some tips to use when you lose weight and need less fuel
Become conscious of hunger levels in your body – these may have changed as your body set weight changes
Serve yourself a smaller portion, you can always go back for some more if you are not satisfied
Experiment when you have a full plate in front of you and consciously decide when you are satisfied. You may have some thoughts around wasting food. Learn from this and serve up a smaller portion next time. Don’t make it mean that some poor child in Africa will starve if you don’t eat it. Make it mean something useful instead.
Eat the foods that leave you feeling satisfied and that will provide you with the consistent level of energy during the day. NOT the foods that give you a quick fix and make you feel low again after 30 minutes to an hour.
Yes, this is all possible and often requires a mind shift and some top tips on foods that work well in your body to make it feel great. My friend Ruth (a Nutritional Therapist/ Personal Trainer), and I teamed up to help people with exactly these things. If you want to Redefine Your Approach to Weight loss, join us in one of our November workshops. There are only workshop 2 dates in November 2020 available with limited spaces, so click the link here to read more and to book. I hope to see you in there.
Have a beautiful week